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Client of the Month - September: Maria Vandergriff

Oct 10, 2016

Congratulations to our first Client of the Month since our re-opening - Maria Vandergriff! Every time she walks into the studio, it puts a smile on our faces to see her ready to rock and roll! Maria has been very consistent in her workouts and is seeing great results already!

Q: How long have you been with Fitness Together, and how often are you working out both inside and outside of the studio?

I've been with F.T. Silver Spring for about a month, that is, since September of this year. In late 2013 I began working out at another F.T. location. For the 18 months that I worked out there, I benefited greatly -- a 10-pound weight loss that I've sustained since then, along with more strength.

Each week I work out twice in the studio, and on two other days I participate in dance classes for people facing Parkinson's (a condition I have).

Thanks mainly to prompts from F.T.'s Polar Flow 24/7 tracking system that monitors and analyzes my activity, I'm arranging to do even more each week. (After all, like the holiday song says , the tracker "[it] sees you when you're sleeping ... [it] knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness' sake!")

Q: What are some of the results you've seen so far?

My biggest result is the pleasure of building a healthy habit. Thanks to the F.T. trainers and methods, I sincerely want to go longer, work harder, and generally get fitter. I'm also impressed that while I'm tired from the challenges of my in-studio sessions, I almost never have soreness the day after. I enjoy this sense of safe and steady progress.

Q: What can you attribute mostly to your success so far? What hurdles did you have to get over in order to succeed?

The guidance and support from my F.T. trainers are major. Thanks to their expertise, I feel as though I'm doing what's right for me -- not too much and not too little. Plus, they're just good folks to be around! I enjoy chatting with them in between exercises.

At the foundation, though, is my own choice to leave behind my decades-old couch potato lifestyle. As an older adult, I've seen (and sometimes lived through) what it's like to walk with a cane or get up from a chair only because you have used your arms. I can remain a couch potato and lose my health, or I can hold onto and improve things by choosing to work out. The working out choice brings a lot more joy.

Besides the hurdles of Parkinson's-related slow and stiff movements, I have had to power through a whiny attitude. For years I told myself, for example, that strength training is boring and so I chose not to do it. I've had to discipline myself to get going -- and to do so every day. I can't yet say that I'm a strength training fan, but I'm having a better experience with it thanks to the F.T. trainers. I've gotten myself into a better mindset, and then gotten to the studio so that the trainers can guide me.

Q: What are some of your goals with FT moving forward?

I admit, I have at least 20! Some are small victories, like holding a high plank for 60 seconds at a time; my starting point 4 weeks ago was 10 seconds but I did 2 sets of 15 seconds in my most recent training session. Some are longer-term, like achieving and maintaining a 20-pound weight loss. Overall, my goal is to keep working out, in the studio and beyond.

Q: Anything else you would like to share with others looking to hit their goals?

I get inspired by this quote, attributed to Arthur Ashe: "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." It reminds me to make an effort, no matter how small, to make fitness a part of my lifestyle.


I also suggest making things pleasant as often as possible. For example, I enjoy background music while at the studio -- but I'm picky about my playlist. Two songs I hate to hear are "Another One Bites the Dust" and "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger." (-smiles-)

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